Maroon Oriole    Oriolus  traillii


  • Oriolus : Latin word for golden oriole derived from aureoles- golden
  • Traillii: Named after Scottish zoologist Dr Thomas Stewart Traill (1781–1862)

Vernacular Names: Lepcha: Melanbok, Bhutan: Tania pia, Nepal: Singanee, Hindi: Katthai Pilak

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas and North east of India.

Description:  Size of 25·5–28 cm; wt. of 67–81 g. The male of nominate race has head and neck to upper mantle and upper breast entirely glossy black, rest of body  is deep metallic maroon; upperwing is glossy black, tail is pale maroon; iris is creamy white; bill is pale blue-grey; legs are pale blue. The female has head blackish brown, merging above into dark brown mantle, rump is maroon-chestnut; wing is dark brown with paler edging, central tail feathers are maroon-brown, outer rectrices are paler brownish-maroon on inner webs. The throat, breast and belly are whitish with traces of maroon wash, all heavily streaked with blackish, undertail-coverts are maroon. The immature male is similar to female, but head and throat is black, back darker than female, and chest to belly streaked maroon and black; iris is brown.

Habitat: It is found in dense moist deciduous, semi-evergreen or evergreen forests and forest edge, forests or subtropical pine. In winter it moves into more deciduous forests and adjacent. It is found Up to 4000 m

Food Habits: It eats nectar, berries, fruits, especially figs (Ficus), and invertebrates like caterpillars. It forages usually alone and during breeding in pairs

Breeding Habits: They breed in April–June, usually two or more broods per season .The nest is built by both sexes. The nest is a deep cup woven from bark and other vegetable fibers and grass bound by spider web. They lay a clutch of 2-3 eggs. Both male and female incubate the eggs and the chicks are born Precocial (with open eyes and down feathers). Both parents do the duty of feeding the chicks. The chicks fledge within 3 weeks and leave the nest post fledging within 21 days.